T Nation

Flaxseed Oil


#1

Is flaxseed oil a good source of ALA and omega 3?

I remember seeing various things being said about it being bad for testosterone levels.

Can anyone confirm?


#2

Yes it is. The Flax Oil I use periodically has 8g ALA Omega 3, 2g linoleic acid, and 3g oleic acid. It is made by Spectrum Organics.

I wouldn’t imagine it being bad for T levels, if anything it should be good.


#3

DHA and EPA are apparantly the omega 3’s that the body is most short on, not ALA. The body can convert ALA into either, but it can’t convert a lot of it.

Flaxseed oil is also a source of phytoestrogens. And anything that smacks of estrogen is like kryptonite to bodybuilders. How big of a concern is this really? I dunno.

I wouldn’t consume flaxseed oil exclusively, or in mass quantities (like some folks crush shots of olive oil).


#4

How is flaxseed oil a source of phytoestrogens?


#5

There are substances in flaxseed oil called lignans–which are phytoestrogens (plant based substances which closely resemble the structure of estrogen); however, these lignans may actually act as estrogen antagonists by binding to the estrogen receptor and preventing the binding of much more potent estrogen-like substances (such as zenoestrogens). I really don’t know off hand how strong the evidence for this potential action may be. Insofar as it exists, it’s a good thing.

Of greater concern to me is a study cited by Charles Poliquin in which store samples of various brands of flaxseed oil were tested and, according to Poliquin, almost all were rancid! I now use only organic golden flaxseeds. These are available at numerous stores with a nutrition section–e.g., Kroger’s supermarkets. The golden flaxseeds have a higher fat content than the brown flaxseeds. In addition, flaxseeds are a great way to add fiber to protein drinks. I just grind mine up in my Magic Bullet.

Crowbar


#6

Make sure that you are not confusing the two ALA’s.

The ALA in Flaxseed Oil is Alpha-linolic Acid, and the anti-oxidant ALA is alpha-lipoic acid. The two are very different compounds despite similar sounding names.

In terms of EFA sources, I would say that your best bet is Fish Oil.


#7

[quote]Shakes wrote:
Make sure that you are not confusing the two ALA’s.

The ALA in Flaxseed Oil is Alpha-linolic Acid, and the anti-oxidant ALA is alpha-lipoic acid. The two are very different compounds despite similar sounding names.

In terms of EFA sources, I would say that your best bet is Fish Oil.[/quote]

Thank you for pointing this out.